OUR BOARDS

About Our Boards

International Samaritan currently has two boards and one advisory committee.  Interested in joining one of our boards? Check our Team Page for any board openings.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR INTERNATIONAL SAMARITAN

J. Michael Bernard, Esq.

Detroit, Michigan

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Dr. Tsion Firew, M.D.

New York, New York

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Fr. James Gartland, S.J.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Christopher Lindsey

New York, New York

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Betelhem Negussie

Oak Park, Michigan

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Joe Rideout, Esq.

Toledo, Ohio

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Scott Savage

Toledo, Ohio

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Dan Smoke

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Dr. Dawit Teklehaimanot

Oak Park, Michigan

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Mike Tenbusch

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Truman Timmis

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

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Dan Weingartz

Utica, Michigan

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Markeith Weldon

Detroit, Michigan

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BOARD OF fundación buen samaritano

Francisco Baltazar

Board Member

Milthon Barrera

Board Member

Angelica Cancinos

Board Member

Edgar Lojotz

Board Member

Miguel Lopez Itzep

Board Member

Andrew Pawuk

Board Member

ETHIOPIAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Tsion Firew, M.D.

Advisory Committee Member

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Mahlet Fitsum

Advisory Committee Member

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Suleiman Shifaw

Advisory Committee Member

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Ephrem Tekle Lemango, M.D.

Advisory Committee Member

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Yared Tewolde

Advisory Committee Member

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Birikit Tiruneh

Advisory Committee Member

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Fr. Odomaro, S.J.

Advisory Committee Member

Bio Pending

BOARD EMERITUS

Clay Mathile

Board Member Emeritus

Karen Pulte

Board Member Emeritus

Duane Stranahan, Jr.

Board Member Emeritus

John & Joan Vatterott

Board Member Emeritus

About Us

International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan.

info@intsam.org

(734) 222-0701

803 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

M-F: 9am-5pm, S-S: Closed

Have a Question?

Shoot us a message using this form and we’ll respond to you shortly. If you’re interested in our service immersions or medical missions, visit our “Serve” page.

About J. Michael Bernard, Esq.

Michael Bernard, Esq. is a member of the Dykema law firm, working at their Detroit office. He has extensive experience in venture financing, mergers, and acquisitions. Mr. Bernard continues his long commitment to helping those in need.

About Dr. Tsion Firew

Tsion is an emergency physician and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University in New York and an advisor to the Ministry of Health for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.  Born and raised in Ethiopia, Tsion received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Georgia, her medical education at New York Medical College, and her master’s in public health from Columba University in population and family.  She has had the opportunity to respond in a humanitarian crisis in Haiti and recently in Mosul Iraq during the war against ISIS. Before joining the ministry, she worked on emergency medicine assessment and capacity building in Ghana, Ethiopia and worked as an intern at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva under the WHO’s emergency, trauma, and acute care program.

About Fr. Jim Gartland, S.J.

James G. Gartland, S.J. is Pastor of the University of Michigan's St. Mary Student Parish. Previously, he was the rector of the Saint Peter Faber Jesuit Community at Boston College where he was responsible for the community’s Jesuits who come from all over the world. He was part of the founding team of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School (Chicago) in 1996 and served as president from 2004–2012. During his tenure, the school completed a large-scale capital campaign. For his contributions to the school, a scholarship was named in his honor.

Previously Fr. Gartland served as pastor of St. Procopius, a Mexican immigrant parish in Chicago, from 1994–1999. After teaching theology at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL for three years, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1983. He taught in Peru from 1987–1990 and was ordained a priest in 1993.

In 2006, Fr. Gartland was elected to the Marquette University Board of Trustees and to the Board of the College of the Holy Cross in 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University, master’s degrees in philosophy and religious education from Loyola University Chicago, and a master of divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

About Christopher Lindsey

Director for the Central Funding Group of Royal Bank of Canada in New York City; formerly worked for the bank in London, England; Bachelor of Science and Engineering Degree, University of Pennsylvania; 1995 Salutatorian of St. John’s Jesuit High School. Chris was one of the four students who traveled with Father Don to Guatemala in 1994. His work raising awareness and funds for the Guatemala City garbage dump dwellers helped lead to the founding of International Samaritan.

About Betelhem Negussie

Betelhem was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After finishing high school, she came to the United States in 1988.  She attended Washtenaw Community College and graduated from a respiratory therapy program and has worked in Detroit Medical Center, University of Michigan, and St. Joseph’s hospital.  Betelhem owned and ran a traditional Ethiopian restaurant in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, Michigan for some time. Currently, she is working as a manager at Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, while also raising four extremely gifted children.

About Joe Rideout, Esq.

Partner in law firm of Shumaker, Loop, & Kendrick, LLP of Toledo & Columbus, Ohio, Tampa, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina; current Administrator of the firm’s real estate department; extensive history with civic and charitable pursuits in Ohio and elsewhere.

About Scott Savage

Scott is the current president of International Samaritan's board of trustees.  Founder and CEO of SJS Investment Consulting, Inc., a Sylvania Ohio based investment advisory firm. He currently serves on the board of several Catholic charities and educational institutions in Northwest Ohio.

About Dan Smoke

Dan has been the CFO for both public and privately held manufacturing companies during a career spanning 45 years.  He was a member of the Board of Directors of Rofin-Sinar Technologies, Inc. from 2003 until 2016 when the company was sold.  He began his career with Ford Motor Company spending nearly 15 years in the automotive industry with Ford, White Motor Corporation and General Battery Corporation.  Dan grew up in Walla Walla, Washington, attended the University of Idaho for two years and graduated from Washington State University in 1971.  He received a MA in Accounting from California State University in 1973 and earned a CPA certificate in 2003.  Dan’s service with International Samaritan on a medical and dental mission trip to Guatemala in May 2018 was a life changing event for him, and he believes that that the need for water, food, housing and education for so many around the world is an unlimited opportunity to make a difference.

About Dr. Dawit Teklehaimanot

Dawit was born in Ethiopia, where he attended both elementary and high school. After graduating high school in 1979 he came to the United States and attended Loma Linda University in San Bernardino, CA, where he earned his bachelors’ degrees in biology and cytology by 1985. After working in cytology professions for a few years, in 1988, he was accepted to Des Moines Osteopathic University in Des Moines, Iowa and completed his schooling there in 1992. Dawit did his residency at Detroit Medical Center and specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation and earned his board certification in physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management, and regenerative medicine.  He has been practicing as a solo practitioner in Oak Park, Michigan specializing in those skills for the last 20 years.

About Mike

A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Mike co-founded Think Detroit with Dan Varner in 1997, which was named Crain’s Detroit Business Best-Managed Non-Profit in 2004 and merged with Detroit PAL in 2006. After serving on Detroit’s school board, Mike then led an effort at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to move graduation rates from less than 60% to 80% or higher in the region’s most historically challenged high schools. Most recently, he served as the founding executive director of the SAY Detroit Play Center and interim CEO of the Detroit Parent Network. He is also is the author of The Jonathan Effect: Helping Kids and Schools Win the Battle Against Poverty, called a “moving, inspiring and important book” by best-selling author Dan Heath. Mike and his wife, Maritza, have three children, Grace, 19, Julia, 17 and Jacob, 16.

About Truman Timmis, J.D.

Founding Partner of Legacy Private Capital, LLC. Extensive business and legal experience gained over a twenty eight year career in estate planning and wealth management, real estate development and consulting and the practice of law. Very active in the community including extended terms on the boards of Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit, Detroit Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and the Executive Board of the Wayne State University Law School Alumni Association.

About Dan Weingartz

Dan is a partner in a successful, third-generation family-owned business.  He is passionate about the important role of small business in our economy and in people's lives and is proud to say that his family has been successful in the difficult task of running a business and still staying very close personally.  Their business focuses on sales, parts and service of outdoor power equipment - from chainsaws to mowers to 100-HP loaders. Their primary customers are homeowners, landscapers, golf courses, rental yards, cemeteries and municipal organizations.  Outside of the family business, Dan is involved in many charitable causes and organizations.

About Markeith Weldon

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Markeith has overcome significant challenges from an early age, which he attributes to the importance of faith, education and perseverance that was instilled in him growing up.  He is the president and CEO of Weldon IT and has extensive experience in executive level positions within the Automotive and Information Technology industries. Markeith has owned and successfully operated two staffing firms, and a thriving business development consulting practice.  He was featured on the MSNBC Morning Joe Show as one of the fastest- growing companies in Detroit and is also a graduate and speaker for the inaugural classes of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program in Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.  A graduate of University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy and Tennessee State University, he is also the proud father of two sons and a daughter and is a member of Detroit World Outreach Church.

About Dr. Firew

Dr. Tsion Firew is an assistant professor at Columbia University Department of Medicine. She is emergency medicine physician in New York. Dr. Tsion is currently serving as a special advisor to the Minister of Health in Ethiopia.

About Ms. Fitsum

Ms. Mahlet Fitsum is human rights lawyer and attorney at law. She is a researcher, trainer and women’s rights advocate. Mahlet represents Private Sectors, Government organizations, Non-Government Organizations as well as International Institutions.

About Mr. Shifaw

Suleiman Shifaw is the co-founder of Felek notebooks. Felek combines traditional artisanship with contemporary ecofriendly designs. Felek is making efforts to put a dent in illiteracy and to increase the reach of education in disenfranchised sectors of the population. They do so by following a business model that promises to cover the cost of one student’s exercise book supply for an entire school year for every notebook purchase.

About Dr. Tekle Lemango

Dr. Ephrem Tekle Lemango is the job commissioner of the Commission for Job Creation for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Commissioner Ephrem has worked as the director of Maternal and Child Health Directorate under the Ministry of Health and he also served the International Institute for Primary Health Care – Ethiopia as Executive director before assuming his current position.

About Mr. Tewolde

Yared Tewolde is owner of Naytra logistics P.L.C. His company handles customs clearing, port handing, and freight forwarding and transportation services in Ethiopia. Yared works with various national and international companies.

About Mrs. Tiruneh

Mrs. Birikit Tiruneh is the founding director of Women’s Health Association of Ethiopia, a grassroots knowledge-building organization that focuses on training women in life skills as well as health matters. Women’s Health works across nine regions in Ethiopia seeking economic empowerment through investing in marginalized women’s group businesses.